occupy raleigh wallstreet

Occupy Raleigh begins State Capitol Occupation Tomorrow

October, 14, 2011

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by Bobby

The Occupy Wall Street movement has found its way to the City of Oaks with the local spin-off movement, Occupy Raleigh, set to start their occupation this Saturday at 11am.  Occupy Raleigh’s facilitators estimate that over 1,000 people will attend the protest rally on the State Capitol grounds that officially kicks of Occupy Raleigh. Contingents of “occupiers” are expected to remain after the initial protest to set up camp and exercise their free speech rights in the area indefinitely.

What is Occupy Wall Street? 

There’s a lot of confusion and misinformation about Occupy Wall Street, both on cable news and online.  While their grievances are many, Occupy Wall Street, as described by those camping out in Zuccotti Park is:

“…a horizontally organized resistance movement employing the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to restore democracy in America. We use a tool known as a "people's assembly" to facilitate collective decision making in an open, participatory and non-binding manner. We call ours the NYC General Assembly and we welcome people from all colors, genders and beliefs to attend our daily assemblies.”

They are a leaderless group of citizens dedicated to bringing about change through peaceful and non-violent protests.  Decisions are made as a group using direct democracy and consensus building instead of a simple majority.  Anyone in the group can block a proposal at any time, for any reason.  While this isn’t the easiest way to find common ground, it ensures that typically marginalized segments of society are able to participate as equals and that the majority does not oppress the opinions and beliefs of the minority.

Their experiment with direct democracy and non-violent protest has spread around the world with approximately 1,500 protests already taking place or planned to start this month, according to OccupyTogether.org.  The Occupy Wall Street movement was galvanized by the arrest of around 800 protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge last week and has continued to draw support from many who felt that the tactics used by the NYPD were brutal and premeditated. (Search YouTube for a growing video library documenting police brutality against peaceful protesters).

What are they protesting about?

The NYC General Assembly recently released a list of grievances which they titled, The Declaration of the Occupation of NYC.  While this document is inspiring, the uniting themes behind all of the occupy protests can be simplified into several key points:

  1. Hold the financial firms and specifically the top executives at those firms accountable for their part in the ‘08 financial crisis. ZERO members of Wall St. have been arrested for the ‘08 collapse while over 1,000 members of the Occupy Wall Street movement have been arrested over the last month.
  2. Stop the revolving door in Washington and completely remove all lobbying and special interests from Washington, DC.  The movement is neither anti-capitalist nor anti-consumerist. Crony capitalism and the corruption of our governing system to the benefit of the top1% by special interests is one of the movements key issues.
  3. Reverse the Citizens United ruling or create a Constitutional amendment banning corporate personhood.  It is now legal for corporations to funnel unlimited, undisclosed funds to political campaigns via political action committees. Of course, the candidate with the most campaign funds wins 94% of the time.

Disclaimer: The above are simply one Occupy Wall Street supporter’s opinions and observations.  In no way am I a spokesperson for Occupy Wall Street or Occupy Raleigh and there are likely many within the movement that would disagree with the above themes.  One of the challenges and blessings when discussing the movement is that there are no spokespeople or list of talking points.  Other important aspects I would be remiss to not include are non-violence and peaceful protest, this movement is a-political and welcomes and accepts all viewpoints. 

For the past 30 years, real wages have remained stagnant while CEO pay has risen unabated.  The CEO of Walmart makes an average employee’s annual salary every hour.  If real wages rose at the same rate as CEO pay over the past 30 years the minimum wage would be around $30/hr . It’s important to note that this slide continued under both Republican and Democratic Congresses and Presidents. Obama’s top supporter in '08? The financial industry.  Bush’s top supporter in '04? The financial industry.  Both sides are bought and both parties are responsible for supporting a system that allows billions of dollars in special interest and lobbying money to flow into Washington.  The politicians in Washington no longer support their constituents; rather, they support those special interests that will get them re-elected.

UPDATE: 48 hours after Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the protesters could stay in Zuccotti park indefinitely; he completely flip-flopped and announced the eviction of the protesters this morning for “cleaning purposes”.  In an unprecedented show of support and solidarity an international social media blitz produced an agreement with Brooksfield Properties, the owners of the park avoiding the possibility of forced eviction by the NYPD. As of 7am no eviction has occured. 

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  • Fraiser Lyon
    10/14 12:15 PM

    Wait a group that supports its own right to free speech is advocating the end of lobbying in Washington and an end to coroprate donations?  Would that include Unions or Education Groups, or the Seira Club?  What about Amenesty International?  I’m all for free speech but to have it you have to support it unconditionally.  There is no difference between what the Unions do and What Goldman Sachs does in terms of lobbying and trying to convince our reprsentatives to vote in a particular way. The problem with the stance that is being taken is that every group thinks that their speech is more vaulable than the others and every group believes they should be able to fund their speech in whatever way they deem fit.  If you limit it then what you have is basically a power grab for who can speak and to whom they can speak.  That is not free speech.  The way it works is that our representatives vote based on the interest of the people but the rep’s votes are judged by the people when we vote. If our reps are favoring wall st. over main st we can do something about it by voting them out.  If we really believe that money and group spending and support stymie this then we have to eliminate corporations and eliminate unions as well and pretty much any interest group that exists.  Again this would not be free speech. Eliminating Wall St.‘s ability to advocate for their position would be just as dumb as eliminating a Union’s ability to advocate for its position or to say eliminate the Jews or Catholics ability to advocate for their positon.  That sounds extreme but it has happened and is happening all over our planet.  Unless Occupy Wall St. changes its position it has more in common with the Brown Shirts than it does with Founders of thsi great republic.

  • Caitlyn Martin
    10/14 12:24 PM

    Two of the key points of Occupy Wall Street are:

    -Corporations are not people
    -Money is not speech

    The problem with the system we have now is that money trumps speech and, especially in light of the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court, is that the well-heeled and the big corporations can buy their own Congressional representatives and Senators.  That isn’t free speech.  The correct word for that is “corruption.”

    So, sorry to Fraiser Lyon, it isn’t dumb to limit the flow of money into politics.  Some courageous politicians from both parties (i.e. Senator John McCain and former Senator Russ Feingold) have realized that such limitations are necessary to insure free speech and are not restrictions on free speech.

    As far as our ability to do something about it by voting, when all the information on candidates is controlled by corporate media and $60 million dollars of out of state money can be brought in to change the outcome of an election, as was the case in Bob Etheridge vs. Renee Elmers in 2010, the idea that the people of the 2nd District had an opportunity to know the issues and the candidates’ positions becomes something of a bad joke.  It all gets drowned out in the flood of negative advertising.

    I fully support what Occupy Raleigh is doing.  The change they advocate for is way past due.

  • Iraq War Vet. and revolutionist
    10/14 12:34 PM

    These are the times that try our souls…We the few that would stand to a tyrant!  WE the people that is, the people for so long who have been the butt of the capitalistic joke and the centeral bank crime of the Fed.  It is time for a revolution!  Please read and research and learn what has happened here in America.  I for call for a zeitgeist, a revolution…An AMERICAN REVOLUTION of ideas and peace.  Please come and join us for this historic event.  Occupy we must, and occupt we shall.

  • Caitlyn Martin
    10/14 12:40 PM

    The idea that the Federal Reserve is somehow criminal is not a core position of the Occupy Together movement.  It is not widely accepted and is not part of anything Occupy Raleigh is doing AFAIK.  If it was I wouldn’t be supporting Occupy Raleigh.  Oh, and I am a small business owner so I guess that makes me a capitalist, too.


    The problem with movements like this is that anyone with a message can try and hijack it or supplant their message over what is actually being said by the organizers.  That is what Iraq War Vet. is doing.  Visit the Occupy Raleigh website and find out what this is all about for yourself.

  • raleighmudsleeper
    10/14 12:43 PM

    I agree….it appears AT&T is giving entirely too much money:

    http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php

    LOL….money is not speech?  Money talks, and….well, you know the rest.  Would it be OK if corporations stopped paying taxes?  I mean, they pay a LOT in taxes each year, and that money goes right into the political system.  So would that be ok, too?  if you’re on board with that, I’ll be the first one downtown sleeping in the mud in order to make myself feel better.

    BRING THE LIGHTHOUSE TO DOWNTOWN!

  • Colin Dodd
    10/14 12:52 PM

    I don’t really mind that there are so many messages and ideas in this movement. It just proves the breadth and depth of discontent. And I am thrilled to see non-violent civil disobedience back in action. It’s a powerful force, and it will slow and perhaps, if this resistance lasts long enough, reverse the trend of business interests controlling government. At this point, all the occupy movement has to do is keep it going. Leaders and consensus demands will emerge, and the truth will win out. It’s just going to take a long time.

  • gspot
    10/14 12:52 PM

    OCCUPY THE STATE FAIR!

  • Bill
    10/14 12:57 PM

    The current system socializes losses while privatizing profit.  That’s the wrong kind of Capitalism and the wrong kind of Socialism.  But Wall Street loves it.

  • Phillo
    10/14 01:04 PM

    The federal government made four billion dollars off of socializing BofA’s losses plus they got the original bailout amount back. 
     
    Not a bad ROI, if you ask me.

  • Fraiser Lyon
    10/14 01:16 PM

    Can a person spend money to travel to Occupy Raleigh?  Can a Union rent a bus to bring it members?  Can a very rich business man such as George Soros give the movment money to buy add space in the NYT or on MSNBC?  Can a hundred Goldman Sachs bankers donate to the Obama campaign? Do I have to give the government .30 cents on every dollar I make to support an Obama bus tour?  Can a church use its members money to print a pamplet that opposes abortion? Can Planned Parenthood print a pamplet that supports abortion?  This all requires money. Money is critical to free speech.  Almost all speech costs money and almost all effective speech is the result of a group of likeminded individuals pooling their resources to make their position known.  At what point do you draw the line? 

    Is a Union a person? Is Planned Parenthood a Person? Is the Catholic Church a person? If not what is a person in terms of free speech? If you start allowing these lines to be drawn by popular sentiment then you essentially make the First Amendment obsolete. 

    It might feel good and right and holy to make it illegal for Goldman to lobby Congress or stop GE from giving money to Congressional elections.  To some it might make sense to forbid the Catholic church its ability to spend money to oppose Planned Parenthood.  But say that happens and your side fails to enact an agenda that brings about the changes you support and the economy gets worse. What happens if the polity thens says Unions are the problem they should be illegal and the Seira Club is wrongheaded and shouldn’t be allowed to exist? Or they say Muslims do not believe in equal rights for women and therefore the Koran should be banned.  What if that happens?  You see restricting certain forms of speech and certain opinions only sounds good if you think your side will be on the side that won’t be silenced.  But by even allowing a system where such restrictions can exist you are ensuring that this will one day happen to you as well. 

    In no time in the history of man have we been able to share our opinions and ideas as freely as we can today.  I can type this and within an hour a billion people could read it if they so choose.  To argue that we are somehow unable as a society to make Democratic decisions unless free speech is limited in some way is to say that Democracy cannot exist unless the ideas i support are pushed on people and ideas I do not support are not allowed to exist.  That is not democracy and has about as much as in common with Democracy and an Iranian election.  If Occupy Wall St. wants to be a counter voice to the banks then bully for them, but to advocate limiting free speech - well that makes them way more insidious than anything Wall St. has done.

    If you and a couple of million others want to withdraw your money from Wall St. banks and form community banks more power to you.  If you want to start a fund that donates a dollar for every dollar given to a campaign by Solyras more power to you. I think that would be great.  But to say the only way we can win as a nation is to silence people, that is scary and counter productive.

  • occunomics
    10/14 01:22 PM

    “Not a bad ROI, if you ask me.”

    Until you factor in the inflationary pressures related to the HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS in quantitative easing necessary to FUND that ridiculously anti-capitalist bailout. Conservatives, when did we forget about moral hazard?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_hazard

    Employed, Unaffiliated Voter of the 99%

  • George Miler
    10/14 01:31 PM

    I’m institutionally neutral except to the extent that the federal government does not have control over money and credit and does not have control of corporations. It is therefore not really sovereign. And it is not really responsible, because it is now controlled by these two groups, corporations, and those who control the flows of money. (The union-basher can include unions if he wants since they—along with management—used to exploit the absent consumer. The anti-treehugger too even though environmental organizations have a minimal impact.) What I refer to are vested interests whose lobbyists have become a kind of sixth estate. Boot them out. (If Reagan had been a true believer in laissez faire he would have busted the trusts along with the unions, but when it comes to large business combinations and market power, Hayek and the Chicago School of Economics suffer from hysterical blindness. Either bust them up or impose controls because it ain’t no free market no more.

  • Tom
    10/14 01:40 PM

    @Fraiser Lyon - Free speech ends where it infringes on the rights of others. That’s about all that is needed to dismiss the premise that lobbyists deserve the right to it. In a real free market the will of the people will push agendas not those that can afford the “best” lawyers and can offer the best bribes.

  • Synaesthete
    10/14 02:01 PM

    While this is a leaderless movement, some good clandestine leadership would help immensely.  Also, there are many common causes between the “Tea Partiers” and the “Occupiers”.  They ought to cooperate over their common causes, which would strengthen their numbers and consolidate their message.  If they’re incapable of cooperating, it’s clear to me that the groups lack a substantial ideological basis and are therefore destined to fail.  Furthermore, once they isolate a single group, cause, law, or person, they should insight lesser, more passive protests from their supporters who aren’t willing to march.  Occupation and picketing combined with boycotts, petitions, and letters to congress could be very effective.  I definitely think that these efforts can cause a change, and that change should happen in the form of legislative action.  However, if the movement doesn’t strengthen and the cause doesn’t focus, it will go no where, and I think it’s going to require some influential leaders to rise out of the mix, and some very different thinking in terms of political and cultural affiliation.

  • matt
    10/14 02:41 PM

    You’re all quite wordy, I am very impressed (digging the full sentences and scarcity of typos) but honestly, tired of reading so much text just to get to your central points.

    No personal offense but if this is going to be what the occupation is like, we’ll all be asleep by early afternoon. I know you’re smart and educated - but simple words and concepts can more easily reach those who seem beyond our reach.

  • matt
    10/14 02:43 PM

    p.s., “clandestine leadership”, the way I picture it (please clarify) is even more off-putting than attempts to co-opt; instant suspicion and distrust.

  • Synaesthete
    10/14 03:04 PM

    By clandestine leadership, I’m referring to some intellectual and strategic groundwork that isn’t in the form of screaming motives across the lawn.  A core group of people must decide on a consolidated message as well as orchestrate a multi-pronged strategy for building greater support and numbers.  Otherwise the whole movement will continue in a nebulous, misdirected fashion.  While the final message shouldn’t be so wordy, the movement needs a strong intellectual underpinning to develop that clear, simple message.  If the movement doesn’t have a mind, it will never be more than an embarrassing hipster mob.

  • matt
    10/14 03:31 PM

    Well…respectfully disagreed (without the will or energy to further discuss in this forum), I guess.

  • Joe
    10/14 03:37 PM

    I’m looking forward to it and I’ll be there.  Our government is 100% run by corporations, and the corporations are accountable to no one.  This has to stop now.  People like Frasier who think that corporations are entitled to “free speech” need to get out of the way, because they’re gonna get run over.  They ARE the problem.

  • Synaesthete
    10/14 03:39 PM

    Furthermore, the overarching motive should just be “separation of state and corporations”, along the same lines as the “separation of church and state”.  It’s really the same problem but in a modern form.  Generally, there are groups who are self-motivated (churches, corporations) and then there is the government, which is supposed to be an impartial body representing all the people.  Any time the relationship becomes too closely linked, there will be problems (religious or class-based persecution).  The link between the archetypal “self-interested group” and the “impartial group” has to be revisited periodically through history and that link must be broken by revolutionary action.  We need both types in our society, and an imbalance between the two invariably leads to social strife.

  • ignc73
    10/14 03:51 PM

    Right now, we have people like Frasier calling corporations “people” with all of the rights and privileges of people, but with none of the responsibility.  Corporations can kill people, with no repercussions other than a small fine.  Corporations have been given all of our constitutional rights, yet they are not constitutionally recognized as individuals.  The recognition of corporate rights have come from corporations buying politicians to make favorable laws.

    This simply cannot work, and we’re seeing the results of this now.  All of our elected representatives are hopelessly corrupt, and ALL of them need to be thrown out of office immediately, and the corporate system needs to be thrown out and possibly re-worked.

  • Fraiser Lyon
    10/14 04:06 PM

    @Tom - “Free speech ends where it infringes on the rights of others. That’s about all that is needed to dismiss the premise that lobbyists deserve the right to it.  In a real free market the will of the people will push agendas…”

    - You should think more about that idea before you adopt it.  I’ll give you several examples why.  In 1840 the vast majority of the population had a “right” to own slaves.  And the vast majority supported it at least tacitly. So should Fredrick Douglas been barred by law from speaking out against it?  2015 - Supreme Court determines that Abortion is not a right and instead leaves it to the individual states to decide if its legal or not.  Texas passes a law with the vast support of “the people” outlawing abortiona and outlawing the abiltiy to write, speak or protest in support of abortion rights because abortion “infringes on the rights of others (unborn babies).

    @Joe - I don’t think that corporation are entitled to free speech.  I think that ever individual and every organization made up of individuals are entitled to free speech. Saying that those who support speech are going to get “run over” proves my point. A mob can do whatever it likes without certain restrictions such as a constitution which protects rights such as speech.  You should be carefull in advocating a differnt position for several reasons.  First, those who run over others rights are likely to have their rights run over as well. I don’t see Apple executive in the streets beating protestors with clubs or paying people to do so.  You are free and should be to call them out in mass if neccessary and to support a different agenda in mass if possible.  No right to speak for me today may mean no right to speak for you tomorrow. If what you say is true and our government is 100% controled by corporations I’d be very concerned taking your position because it would be more likely that your opinions would be the first to be restricted.  Governments have guns and police, and jails and such. I’d much rather you take the constitutional position that we all have the right to express our opinions and lobby our representatives and that you are going to convince more people that you are correct so that our government has no choice but to follow or risk being replacedin 2012. If you can’t do so then maybe your idea isn’t as correct as you think.  I know just as many people on the right that would say the same thing about Unions that you say about Corporations. There actualy might be more people that feel that way.  And if they are, are you prepared to have Union speech rights curtailed? 

    I’m going to let you guys work this out from hence forward, I’m pretty comfortable with my position and feel I’ve done about what I can in this forum to outline the advantages. I would caution you all to not get your hopes up about a few thousand disappoited Obama voters who skew to the hippie/hipster demographic changing much by sleeping in parks.  I would instead encourage you to try to convince people to get out bed on election day and vote for candidates they can support and not ones that the parties tell them to support.  It may be a long shot but its the best shot you have.

  • L B
    10/14 04:13 PM

    The takeaway from Occupy is discontent. I’m happy people are voicing their opinions. But they need to direct their anger toward the currently elected officials - the government and its enabling of crony capitalism is the culprit. Any official that voted for a bailout should be thrown out - simple, period. Companies need to go bankrupt to ensure that the bad apples are weeded out. Similar to nature, how natural forest fires clear a lot of the dead and dying trees to make way for new ones.

  • JWM
    10/14 04:25 PM

    Its funny how all these people are out there complaining all day about how hard they work and how big wigs do nothing and make millions.  Maybe the reason you have nothing is because you complain and focus on blaming others for your failures.  Plus, don’t you have a job where you should be working and trying to improve your life instead of standing around downtown holding signs that are going have no effect on our country.  Yes people who get good grades, work hard, and get a good education deserve to be rewarded.  They also know a lot more about the economy than you do, despite not sitting around with your hipster friends all agree with each other when discussing politics.  Don’t even try to give me that crap about some people not having the same opportunities because everyone has the opportunity to make good grades and get the scholarships they need no matter where you come from.  I’m sorry you chose a different path or a career you knew you wouldn’t make money doing.  I wasn’t handed anything and worked hard and although I’m just starting my career, I don’t want to pay for the lazy people who didn’t work hard.  Yes there are plenty of spoiled brats on Wall Street who had their jobs handed to them, but if you had worked hard enough you could have had their job on Wall Street or working at the big corporation, and I’m sure you wouldn’t be throwing a tantrum then.  The fact is there are a lot of lazy people out there and I’m sure some people “Occupying Wall Street” are very hard workers but I guarantee you most of them would be a lot better off putting that much effort into improving their lives instead of asking others to do it for them.

  • Synaesthete
    10/14 04:26 PM

    I think the trouble is that many people feel that corporations are influencing political decisions and diminishing the representative power of the vote.  That’s a pretty nasty situation to be in, and by nature it’s a situation that can’t be changed by voting.

  • Joe
    10/14 04:31 PM

    JVM, I’m a “job creator”, and I’m tired of getting reamed by large corporations.  Don’t stereotype protesters as unemployed.  That’s simply not true.

    It’s not about not wanting to work.  It’s about not wanting our government to be owned by corporations. 

    You obviously buy the myth that “if you work hard and get educated, then everything will be great”.  That’s a load of bullshit.

  • Synaesthete
    10/14 04:36 PM

    Our current situation is complicated, and also can’t be solved by “working hard”.  Our economy and political system is bricked, and telling someone to “work hard” is like asking them to paddle harder up a creek with no flowing water.  It’s going to take a concerted, systems-thinking effort to change the nature of our system, and we’ve justifiably lost faith in the traditional means of voting or working harder.

  • JWM
    10/14 04:44 PM

    How is it a load of bullshit Joe?  Yes a BA in Art from a crappy school with nothing on your resume is not going to send you to the top but if you work hard and get scholarships through good schools, you can find a good job.  I don’t know one person who has worked really hard in life and hasn’t gotten where they wanted to be.  I think you forget what most high schools and lower level jobs are like.  I saw smart kids refuse to fill out a test simply because they were too lazy, I’ve seen people come into minimum wage jobs I worked at late and high on god knows what every day if they showed up at all.  Then they go complain about how hard it is to get a good job and blame other people.  There are a lot of people out there that don’t deserve good jobs and the bigger problem in America is the group who does nothing to improve their lives then I have to stand in line behind in the grocery store watching them use their food stamps to buy Simply Orange and Gatorades.  If you keep punishing corporations they aren’t going to give their employees raises out of pocket, they will fire more employees to make sure they don’t have to lose a penny.  Call it evil because yes there are a rare few who just get screwed but we have to reward hardwork.

  • Joe
    10/14 04:48 PM

    “I don’t know one person who has worked really hard in life and hasn’t gotten where they wanted to be”


    You clearly don’t know very many people.  Either that, or you’ve been reading too much Ayn Rand.  It ain’t that simple.  The system is woefully broken. 

    “If you keep punishing corporations they aren’t going to give their employees raises out of pocket, they will fire more employees to make sure they don’t have to lose a penny. “

    Corporations aren’t punished.  They are given more handouts than all of the poor and downtrodden are combined.  Stop worshipping at the Altar of Corporations.  They’ve been given money hand over fist for decades, and they’ve only used that money to pay their CEO’s more, and to buy politicians.  Nothing has “trickled down” to the regular people.  Nothing.

  • Synaesthete
    10/14 04:57 PM

    There are almost certainly more hard working people out there who are doing worse than they were several years ago.  These lazy freeloaders I’m certain are the minority.  Furthermore, a lot of these lazy freeloading hipsters have entered the workforce to very few opportunities.  Like, if there’s nothing to work hard for, what do you do?  So what if you were to work hard and go door-to-door asking to mow people’s lawns… but your neighbors don’t have a dime to pay you.  Our economy could be more free-flowing and inspire people to work hard and apply their skills.  It’s not currently that way, and a big part of it has to do with recent events that have happened up-top.

  • Synaesthete
    10/14 05:12 PM

    Lazy hipsters!  Stop asking the government for handouts!  Why should the government be responsible for ensuring the healthy flow of currency in the economy?  If there ain’t any money go print some yourself!

    ... I mean this is the kind of issue we’re faced with, the problem is very much out of the scope of traditional simple economics.  There are fundamental problems with our economic infrastructure.  The government is failing to fulfill some of their most basic responsibilities.

  • gspot
    10/14 07:19 PM

    Sweet! This will double our downtown residential population density!

  • Valentine W
    10/14 08:48 PM

    How does this theory apply to the NRA? Would they be permitted to hire a lobbyist?

  • Thich Quang Duc
    10/14 09:55 PM

    I lost my job 2 years ago and am inspired by this, nothing to lose…

    http://youtu.be/fIH8ZBtoXXg

  • Katina Gad
    10/15 03:47 AM

    The occupation starting on Wall Street was a statement in itself. The movement will follow the direction that the people involved lead it in.
    To me the strongest and most consistent statement to come out of this since it began in June/July (it started before Wall Street FYI) as a thought, is that the constitutional republic(representative democratic)system we believed in has failed us.

    We have an issue: the influential power of capital to direct our system and the decisions made on all different levels of government has grown stronger than the influential power of the people to direct our system and the decisions made on all different levels of government.

    This occupation is an objection to the blatant tyranny being led by the 1% of our population who hold the majority of wealth and there in hold the majority of political influence and power. The remaining 99% of the population may consist of a larger number of individuals, but they hold the minority share of financial wealth which translates into the minority of political influence and power.
    Everyone in the 99% is being under-represented and is falling victim to a new majority tyrant better known as wealth.
    This occupation will not stop until something changes.
    The beauty of this movement is that it acknowledges an existing problem and has left open to influence the direction the actual majority desires for it to move in.

    The power will be returned to the people.

  • matt
    10/15 09:45 AM

    Don’t stand on the sidelines muttering vague questions about the NRA before you get involved in what’s might give you a SAY in the answers to your questions!

  • jt
    10/15 12:34 PM

    @jwm

    A lot of high paying jobs have been systematically removed.  Instead of a chef in a restaurant making a fair wage….  McDonalds removed all skill from the process allowing them to hire immigrants at $7 hour.  The same approach has been used in every industry to eliminate craft work and automate and simplify.  There are several movements like buy local which are a reaction to what’s been happening for 40 plus years.  The worlds geographical barriers have been knocked down by free trade and the internet.  The lower classses have been engineered to have lower wages with worse opportunities and because of this the opportunities at the top are vast. 

    Yes if you work hard and learn a skill which can’t be automated like art design or programming there is room for you in the new economy.  There isn’t for the bottom 40% that never had good art classes or differential equations.

    So what say do we do about that?

  • Phillo
    10/15 06:42 PM

    ^lol You don’t understand the difference between a line cook and a chef.

  • Marky Mark
    10/16 06:30 PM

    All of this is going to be irrelevant once we are forced to become subservient to our robot overlords. You think corporations are evil, try affecting change on a huge freakin robot!

  • francesco zappa
    10/18 03:43 PM

    Power to the People
    Power to the People
    Power to the People, right on

  • WILLNCSU
    10/18 04:12 PM

    As part of the top 5%, I will crush all beneath me to maintain my status at the top!

  • francesco zappa
    10/25 12:36 PM

    This party just took a turn for the douche,
    took a turn for the douche,
    for the douche,
    for the douche,
    for the muthaf***in’ douche..

    [repeat chorus]

     

  • stretch
    10/25 09:00 PM

    JVM is exactly correct. All those virtues your grandfather told you are still true no matter what your the Jersey Shore says. If you lose your job- get another job. If you have been unemployed for 2 years, you could have already started at any hotel or department store and been a manager with benefits in 2 years. You can make money many, many different ways! and dont question my background. I’ve been down many times but never out.

  • Synaesthete
    11/02 09:33 PM

    While I think the Occupy movement is an important first step to change, I would rather see us reinvent government and financial systems from the ground up.  This might sound like an impossible task, but I actually think it will be easier than trying to either completely topple or completely change the existing system.  New systems should be built on internet cloud databases, distributed computing, mobile computing, and new forms of social networking/data management software.  These tools would make it easier to get people engaged in government, forming more of a democracy than we have now.  We should decentralize our society in to an ecosystem of interrelated government bodies.  Doing so will allow appropriate resources to funnel towards appropriate efforts, and the inclusion of more people creates a feedback loop constantly keeping the whole system in check.  This system need not be “authorized” before implementation.  These systems could be put in place by a bunch of good dorm room hackers, not unlike Facebook or a viral app.  The right set of technologies could disrupt and basically topple the old system as we know it.

  • Carl
    11/03 09:56 AM

    Or make us resemble the Central Services Utilities organization as showcased in Gilliam’s ‘Brazil’.

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